Cabinet gives nod to new minimum wages and measures to assist SMEs

The cabinet on Tuesday (Jan 30) endorsed the National Minimum Wage Committee's proposed increase in minimum wages by 5-22 baht to 308-330 baht to be effective as of April 1 in 77 provinces throughout the country.

Government deputy spokesman Nattaporn Jatusritipak said that the minimum wages were adjusted to correspond with the changing social and economic conditions.

While giving nod to minimum wage adjustment, the cabinet also approved three measures to cushion the impacts of wage rise on small and medium-sized enterprises which are expected to be the hardest hit.

The measures include tax reduction for business or industrial enterprises which have annual revenue not exceeding 100 million baht and have no more than 200 employees. These enterprises are eligible to deduct 1.5 times of the amount of the wages paid to their employees from their taxable revenues.

Mr Nattaporn said that this measure alone would cost the state 5.4 billion baht in tax loss.

The second measure is tailored to help SMEs, with a 5 billion baht fund to be created to organize seminars and training programmes for about 50,000 SMEs.

The third measure is to exempt 50 percent corporate income tax for three years for business operators who bring in machinery, internet or digital system for use in the management of their business.

On top of that, Mr Nattaporn said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha also told his ministers to instruct their agencies to come up with additional measures to assist the small enterprises.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)